Barely two weeks after South Africa reported the existence of the new omicron variant, African leaders have called the newly imposed travel bans on African countries discriminatory and unjust, reports Quartz Africa.
Though reports indicate that the omicron variant has also been detected in over 40 countries, including the US and across Europe, similar travel bans have yet to be imposed against non-African countries.
Reports show that covid-19 numbers remain far higher in Europe than across southern Africa. On 7 Dec., the UK registered over 50,000 new cases, whereas South Africa registered 6,400 and Malawi 16. This has led to several African leaders calling the bans discriminatory.
“Now that omicron has been found in many non-African and developed countries, why are travels from those countries not banned?” tweeted Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank Group.
“Singling out African countries is very unfair, non-scientific and discriminatory.”
This travel ban has angered African leaders and some have likened the travel restrictions to former colonial policies, which imposed race-based segregation on the basis that Africa was the ‘source’ of deadly diseases. The Nigeria high commissioner to London, Sarafa Tunji Isola, described the travel bans as “travel apartheid.”
(Source: Quartz Africa)